Adjusting Recording Volume

I am using iMac OS High Sierra 10.13.2 and Audacity 2.2 to record a vinyl record to CD connecting with a Behringer UCA222 unit. The Recording Meter toolbar shows the recording as being too hot and clipping is occurring. The Recording Volume shows Disabled and tells me to use the System Mixer. I have tried to do this via Applications/Utilities/Audi Midi but can get no further. Could someone please advise me how to adjust the Recording Volume to stop clipping please?

Since the UCA222 sends audio to the Mac via USB, there is no way to control clipping by way of settings on the Mac. The input to the UCA222 is too high.

Please describe in detail the chain of equipment, from the turntable to the UCA222.

– Bill

There is probably something else going on. A simple turntable connection will not be loud enough to create problems with a UCA222. Are you recording from your music sound system? Do you have a USB all-in-one turntable?


Thank you both for your replies.I am using a Bush Accoustics turntable with a red and white cable outlet which I connect to the UCA222 which in turn connects to the Mac with a USB connector. Where the Audacity volume indicates that it is disabled, it tells me to make adjustments in the Mac Sound system but as you say this cannot be done. It stays on maximum with no way to adjust it. I suppose the only thing is to accept the clipping and to be truthful, when listening to the playback, I cannot notice a difference.

…they cost next to nothing and it’ll make your records sing again. The built in pre-amp…

So that’s where the extra volume is coming from. The turntable (which apparently hasn’t been made since 1995) has an internal phono preamp.

What documents I could find don’t say anything about adjusting it but one listing does say you can bypass it. That won’t help you any because that will mean you need to apply RIAA correction somewhere else.

See if the instructions give you a way to adjust the internal preamp.


After recording a side of a record, click on View > Show Clipping. If you get red lines every now and then, the clipping has probably occurred only on ticks and pops. If you get solid red areas on the track, you should look into getting a used pre-amp so you can turn down the level of the turntable before it reaches the UCA222.

– Bill

Great. Thank you both. That is useful information. I didn’t think about the pre-amp. I don’t have any instructions for the turntable but I have just done a recording showing the clipping and it does not appear to have noticeably affected the playback. I will however try and get an instruction manual for the turntable. I did originally wonder if it was a problem the Audacity software producers could remedy with a software update but if the problem is with the pre-amp, I guess not. Thanks again for your help both.

As above, a vinyl pop or click is not going to change to your ear if it’s distorted or not. You only get in trouble if actual music does that. So this may be a non-issue.


Thanks for that Koz. Yes, I agree. I will ignore the clipping. Incidentally, I have had a good look at the turntable and there is definitely no way to adjust the output.

I’m having a similar problem that differs in detail.

I have several dozen reel to reel tapes i am trying to digitize. The recorder I have is an old TEAC 1320 deck and the tapes were made on other recorders. Some tapes are audibly fainter on one channel, and I am trying to balance that while digitizing, and some of the tapes seem under-recorded. It has RCA outputs and an output control that allows me to balance the channels so they are closer in volume. That goes through a Behringer UCA202 into a Macbook Air running Audacity 2.4.2. I can’t find any way to adjust the recording volume on the Mac.

Is there any way to adjust input volume for recording on the Mac? Or is there some way to increase the volume by processing it in Audacity? I’m still learning how to use Audacity.


When recording through a USB audio device the input volume is not adjustable.

There are a number of effects, including Amplify and Normalize, that you can use after recording to balance the channels.

– Bill

Is there a way to reduce the volume when I am digitizing tapes from an old Sony 250A that does not have a output volume adjustment? I started digitizing by playing tapes on a TEAC 1230 with an output volume adjustment, which has worked for more than a dozen tapes, but I now am working on other tapes that originally were recorded on the Sony and don’t pick up adequate volume on the right channel to record properly from the TEAC. The Sony gives what seems to me to be too much volume, pushing the record level into the red and the blue dB reading to 0. I’m using a Behringer UCA202 for my interface between the Sony and my Macbook Air. I suspect the root problem is that the heads of the two recorders are not aligned, but I think it would be simpler to find some way to reduce the volume during digitizing. Does the new version of Audacity have that capability? Or does this one limit the volume? Or am I missing something else.?

Thanks, Jeff Hecht

So the digitizing is done by the UCA202, not by Audacity. Once the signal has reached Audacity, the damage has already been done. (Audacity does have some effects such as Clip Fix which can do some repairs if the damage is not too great).

You could try using a stereo inline audio attenuator, to reduce the volume before it gets to the UCA202.